Thursday, January 22, 2009

Book Review: SKIN DEEP

Poised at the Edge Book Review
E.M. Crane

Andrea Anderson feels perfectly average. At least she's one step ahead of the ugly kids, the fat kids, the kids with terrible skin. Andrea sees her high school as a stage and she's sitting in the audience. She's not one of the desirable players nor is she an unfortunate kid who has to hide in the shadows. She's a professional spectator. In her bossy working-class mother's home she is almost invisible.
Then the script gets flipped, and some surprising things happen. Andrea's homeroom teacher commits suicide. And that's just the beginning. Andrea gets a job working for her reclusive neighbor who is ill. Andrea's job description is simple enough: Honora Menapace's garden must be tended, her pottery finished, and her giant dog Zena fed. But what starts out as a simple job turns in to so much more. Andrea finds herself growing very attached to the mysterious free-spirit Honora.
Her life is suddenly totally unpredictable. Nothing is what it seems. Light is dark, villains are heroes, and what she what thought was ugly turns out to be too beautiful words. Her life becomes a lesson that what seems one way at first glance doesn't even crack the surface.
The story is unique and intelligent, with incredible depth. E.M. Crane's debut novel won the coveted 2006 Delacorte Press Contest for First Young Adult Novels. This is a quiet book with many layers. It's one of those books that will invade your head, and stay there for a long time.

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